Have you ever experienced the loss of a person who’s been in your life for years and then all of a sudden, they are gone? They’re off living a different life without you, and yet you are sitting in the same location wondering what you will do without them?
That is how I would best describe empty nest syndrome.After having kids in your house, raising them, tending to their every need – to the best of your ability – and then one day, they are gone – headed into a newway of life, without you.
While one cannot be diagnosed with ‘empty nest syndrome’ many experience symptoms of depression, sadness and grief, due to young and close family members leaving home.
There are not a lot of people who will open up and tell you the sadness they feel when their child or someone they care for leaves the home. Often times they will feel guilty or wrong for being sad. Or they’re told that they should just move on and be happy for the other person.
What if it was ok to be sad that someone who was once a part of your everyday life is no longer there on a daily basis?
If you are feeling lost and surrounded by the symptoms of empty nest syndrome, here are some tips to help you overcome the sorrow:
Let the transition period happen. When someone orsomething shifts from your life, there is a transition period. If you trypretending that you are not sad or upset about this significant change in yourlife, you will make this transition a lot more difficult for yourself. Ifyou let the transition happy, allowing all the emotions, fear, sadness arisewithout making it significant, it will be much easier.
Be okwith the loneliness. Loneliness is a part of emptynest syndrome. Be ok with being lonely. Allow this to be a time to reflect andbe present with all that you are feeling about the changes in your life.
Practice Gratitude. Even though you haveexperienced a significant loss in your life, be grateful for what was and whatis to come. The only constant we have in life is change, embrace it and begrateful for it. Every change in your life can bring great things when you aregrateful.
Acknowledge the gift you are as a Parent. If you areexperiencing empty nest syndrome, you are most likely a parent and have putyour heart and soul into raising your child. Whether things have gone smoothlyas a parent or not, know that you have done the best you can. Acknowledge thatyour care and consideration for your child is a gift. When you acknowledge thegift of you being a parent to a child that is leaving your nest, it will allowyou to relax into the changes.
Find help. If your experiences of loss and sadness aretaking up more than ten percent of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, find apractitioner that can assist you in releasing what is holding you back fromembracing this change.
Get Social. If you are feeling lost, isolated and not surewhat to do, get out of your house and connect with others! It is not a weaknessto reach out and seek other company. Reach out and connect with your communityto help fill the void of conversation and connection that you had with yourchild when they were at home with you. Chances are you might find friends thatcan be a great contribution to bridging the gap between your life with yourchild and your life with your child away and living their own life.
No one will ever dive deep and tell you what occurs when someone leaves your nest. It’s difficult, and not something you want to push upon another. However, if you use the six tools above and allow yourself to experience the range of emotions and feelings throughout this transition (without making yourself wrong for it), then this transition time will be far easier and will pass more quickly than if you resist and make yourself wrong for it.
Enjoy the journey, and know that if you are willing, there is always a gift behind all change, whether it is hard or easy.
Samantha Lewis is a life coach, corporate wellness practitioner and certified facilitator of several special programs by Access Consciousness®, including Being You Adventures. Throughout her corporate career in sales and marketing, she retained an avid interest in mental, physical and spiritual wellness and is trained in Shiatsu and Indian Head Massage,acupressure and aromatherapy. Samantha now draws upon her wide range of skills and her personal moments of both joy and sadness to facilitate empowering workshops for groups and individuals. Follow Samantha.